A whole 100 days… Or thereabouts.
And what a roller-coaster! Some days it doesn’t feel that long. A lot of days it feels like forever.
On the bleak days I have cried a fair bit, seriously missed my friends and family and church family, worried about food running out, wanted to throw anything to do with home-schooling out the window, panicked about catching COVID at work and panicked even more about passing it on.
On the bright days I have basked in the sunshine and the slower pace of life, loved watching the birds in my garden, enjoyed cooking and DIY-ing with the husband, cycled the beautiful Sussex countryside, laughed til I’ve cried on Zoom calls and quizzes, danced round the table when a kid has learnt something, loved family time and appreciated the unshuttableness of the sea more than ever!
Things have been a bit up and down! Maybe you can relate?! I’ve heard it’s called the Corona-coaster! Ha! Well, the swimming has been up and down too. With an injured shoulder earlier on in the year I hadn’t been able to swim much in February and March but when the pools shut, as Lockdown hit, I did start to wonder how I could keep up with training. So, it was back to the drawing board.
I knew I had to keep up the cardio and, seeing as I’m not a big fan of running, out came the road bike and I began the husband’s ‘Tour de Sussex’. I had some amazing rides! In the rain, in the sun, mostly solo, a few with a friend (when that was allowed, obvs) and I even made it to the top of Ditchling Beacon for the first time. Sussex is stunning! And I would encourage anyone and everyone to get on a bike and go and see it!
The next part of the plan was some dry-land swim exercises. I found some brilliant online videos, bought some resistance bands aaaaand then left them in the cupboard for 2 months. Oops. But I did make the most of dipping in the wonderful sea. And as the sea warmed up the dips became swims and I found that my fitness was good but my arms were shot and I wished I’d used my resistance bands! Lols!
Thankfully, I’ve met some more swim buddies because it is way easier to stay motivated as part of a group! Some have already done the Channel and the others are hopefuls like me. It has been SO good to swim together, ask questions, listen and glean from their training plans. I’ve made swim plans for the next couple of months and my next mini-goal is a 6-8 hour swim by the end of the season.
To be honest I’m feeling slower than I was this time last year and that feels a bit frustrating. I think I need another coaching session to check my technique again but that has to wait for now. I also need to do more regular resistance band and core strength sessions but with the kids at home most days that also seems trickier. Hey, its still Lockdown! I wish it wasn’t. But what can you do? These Lord of the Rings guys know the feeling…
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
This is my time, I’m grateful to have any time, and I decide to still go for it and give it my best shot.